SLIME SAFETY SPAIR (flat fix)
— 12-volt compressor that delivers sealant —
Product evaluation by the staff of Dirt Wheels.
One of the most common worries we have with both ATVs and UTVs is a flat tire. Naturally, a cage-mounted spare will rest your mind, but that isn’t always an option. Tire Blocks, Tire Balls and beadlock rims that allow the fun to continue even after you have a puncture are not a cheap fix, either. Dirt Wheels has had good luck with tire plugs as a temporary fix. Lately, we have been carrying the $37.74 Slime Safety Spair.
Slime has packaged a powerful 12-volt compressor, a trouble light and a 16-ounce bottle of Slime tire sealant inside a high-impact plastic housing that is itself surrounded by a plastic zipper case with a carrying handle. You can select whether you use the sealant or not. If you connect the hose from the sealant to the valve stem, engaging the compressor will fill the tire with 16 ounces of Slime sealant. The latex-based sealant is claimed to temporarily repair holes up to 0.25 inch without plugs or patches. It isn’t an issue with OHVs that we know of, but the sealant doesn’t affect TPS sensors in the tire. When you do have the tire repaired, you’ll need to tell the shop that there is sealant in the tire.
It will have to be cleaned up if the tire is to be repaired. The sealant is not flammable and can be cleaned up with water. If you choose to save the sealant, simply connect the compressor hose to the tire. This compressor will work on all ATV and UTV tires and many automotive tires as well. High-volume, high-pressure tires may need a larger compressor, and Slime sells a heavy-duty model as well.
HOW IT WORKS
We have always had excellent results with Slime sealant. For nail and thorn punctures, it is nearly 100 percent effective. If you have a larger hole than the 1/4-inch opening the sealant claims to seal, use your tire plugs on the hole first. Once you have the Slime pushing out through a hole that it will not seal, the plugs may not seal as well. Better to use them first if there is a question. (Plugs and Slime are compatible. Slime sells kits that include a plug kit.) Also, since this kit is intended for automobiles as well as ATVs and UTVs, the kit is designed to be as convenient as possible. When you attach the sealant hose to the valve stem, it forces the sealant through the valve core. After time the sealant will make the core sticky. We don’t see that as an issue. This is a temporary repair (good for 500 miles on an auto) that should be repaired properly (including a new valve stem) before your next outing.
You should warn the tire-repair shop that there is sealant in the tire. It is a bit messy but isn’t flammable or toxic, and it cleans up with water. When you inject the sealant into the tire, you need to use enough air to inflate the tire. Drive the machine for a quarter-mile, then check the air pressure again to see if the tire is leaking still.
NOTHING BUT AIR
We actually use the compressor function the most. For any machine that has a 12-volt power point, it is easier to carry the Slime kit to the car and use it to inflate the tires, even when a big compressor is 25 yards away. We had one UTV where four tires had dropped to 3 psi. The Slime compressor filled all four to 15 psi in about four minutes. Injecting the sealant takes roughly twice as long as filling a tire does. Slime products are available at dealers and other automotive retailers or www.slime.com.
We keep this kit in our transportation vehicle, then transplant it into a backpack for ATVs or into an emergency bag for UTVs when we get to where we are riding. Basically, we don’t leave home without it.